Going to see AC/DC in concert is probably not many women’s idea of a romantic Valentine’s Day evening. After all, these Rock and Roll Hall of Famers from Down Under are unapologetically politically incorrect, overtly sexist and eternally juvenile in their humor. Such songs as “Whole Lotta Rosie,” “Squealer” and “Big Balls” are probably not going to put your special lady in the mood.
So if you’re not heading to Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Sunday to hear AC/DC, you might want to avoid these 10 sexist tunes from over the years.
“He Hit Me (and It Felt Like a Kiss),” the Crystals, 1962. Penned by the esteemed Gerry Goffin and Carole King reportedly because their babysitter Little Eva was abused by her boyfriend, this song began to gain more attention when Courtney Love and Hole performed it in 1995 on “MTV Unplugged.” The female singer was untrue to her guy so she sang: “If he didn’t care for me/I could have never made him mad/But he hit me/And I was glad.” Produced by Phil Spector, the Crystals’ version was not a hit, but their next recording was a smash: “He’s a Rebel.”
“Under My Thumb,” Rolling Stones, 1966. The melody line on marimba is indeed hypnotic, but Mick Jagger compares having her under his thumb to having a pet under his control. Maybe that’s why he has paid out so much alimony.
“Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon,” Neil Diamond, 1967. He meant to be sweet, but this key couplet sounds condescending and paternalistic: “Girl, you’ll be a woman soon/Soon you’ll need a man.”
“Figured You Out,” Nickelback, 2004. Chad Kroeger and his hitmaking horndogs from Vancouver don’t mess around. They make AC/DC look like masters of clever poetry. Nickelback doesn’t bother with much imagination, as the opening lines of this No. 1 rock-radio hit demonstrate: “I like your pants around your feet/ And I like the dirt that’s on your knees/And I like the way you still say please, while you’re looking up at me.”
“No Lie,” 2 Chainz featuring Drake, 2012. Sexism in hip-hop is about as commonplace as an MC shouting “Wave your hands in the air” at a rap concert. Even Drake, who is sometimes regarded as a feminist-leaning rapper, is guilty of treating women disrespectfully. His verse in “No Lie” suggests a particular woman exists for his sexual gratification and little more. Since she was just a one-night stand, he raps: “She could have a Grammy/ I still treat her [expletive] like a nominee.”
“U.O.E.N.O.” Rocko featuring Future and Rick Ross, 2013. Ross boasted: “Put molly all in her champagne/She ain’t even know it/I took her home and I enjoyed that/She ain’t even know it.” People protested that this hit was about date rape. Reebok responded by dropping its endorsement deal with Ross and Carleton College in Northfield canceled his concert there.
“Blurred Lines,” Robin Thicke, 2013. Yes, it was a massive hit and even earned a Grammy nomination. But Thicke acts a little cocky by telling her “I know you want it/But you’re a good girl/The way you grab me/Must wanna get nasty/Go ahead, get at me.”
“Animals,” Maroon 5, 2014. Adam Levine tells the object of his affection that he’s hunting her down like they are both, well, animals: “It’s like we can’t stop we’re enemies/But we get along when I’m inside you/You’re like a drug that’s killing me/I cut you out entirely/But I get so high when I’m inside you.” The love/hate relationship adds tension, but this poetry would flunk in a high school English class.
“God Made Girls,” RaeLynn, 2014. Yes, even women can write sexist songs. This hit, penned by four women, certainly reflects values from another era. Like maybe 21-year-old RaeLynn’s great-grandmother’s lifetime. Listen to these old-fashioned sentiments: “Somebody’s gotta be the one to cry/Somebody’s gotta let him drive/Give him a reason to hold that door so God made girls.” Clearly RaeLynn never took Loretta Lynn and her 1970s feminist anthems to heart.
“Wiggle,” Jason Derulo featuring Snoop Dogg, 2014. Objectifying women never prevented a song from becoming a hit. Witness the most polite line from Derulo’s ditty about his obsession with watching certain female body parts: “If I take pictures while you do your dance/I can make you famous on Instagram.”
Twitter: @JonBream • 612-673-1719